The Spectacle Blog

Yankee Big Rod

By on 10.18.06 | 12:17PM

Phil: Why is everyone always picking on Alex Rodriguez, one of the finest players of our time? He's become the Don Rumsfeld of baseball, belittled and loathed for not pulling off the impossible and blamed for problems out of his control. The Yankees lost to Detroit not because A-Rod didn't hit. They lost because their starting pitching was lousy. As Yogi Berra should have told George Steinbrenner, 90 percent of baseball is pitching. Only the other half is hitting.

But go ahead, Phil, get rid of Rodriguez. I hear Drew Henson is available to replace him.

Let’s Get Back to Washington!

By on 10.18.06 | 12:12PM

The latest Matt Taibbi bit trying to unravel the apparent enigma of whether or not Democrats will behave like mad partisans should they retake one or both houses of Congress in Rolling Stoneposted online at AlterNet today—draws on the wisdom of that paragon of non-partisanship Charlie Rangel:

Among other things, the famed freshman class of 1994 was comprised to a large degree of young congressmen who ran against the institution of congress in their campaigns, promising to shun "Washington/>/> politics" and spend more time in their home districts...

Re: A-Rod to Cubs?

By on 10.18.06 | 7:54AM

Philip, as a Red Sox fan and an expert on choking, my team still holds the record for longest history because they won many more times to get into a position to choke, whereas the Cubs have for the most part been lovable losers who rarely got into serious contention where they could then blow it.

However, as I'm sure you are painfully aware, neither of the above teams holds the record for the single greatest choke of all time...

Election Arithmetic

By on 10.18.06 | 2:56AM

Each day, it becomes more difficult to see how Republicans can maintain the House. Democrats only need 15 seats to win control, and with the seats of Delay, Ney and Foley almost certainly lost, it's really more like 12 seats. On top of this, Curt Weldon, whose seat was already considered a toss-up in his Democratic-leaning district, is now under investigation. Even if you question the timing of the investigation, clearly it's going to be an uphill battle for him.

Tocqueville Forum Inaugural Conference

By on 10.17.06 | 10:48PM

Awash in ennui? Ready for adventure? Set ablaze over the future of civic education in America? Then cab it to Georgetown later this week -- Georgetown campus, that is -- for The Tocqueville Forum's debut two-day conference on that very subject, brought to you by our crack team of political theorists.

Fidget jealously behind the velvet rope as Justice Scalia entertains a packed house on Night One. Then on Day Two rock three heavyweight panels from 9:00 to 4:00, starring such luminaries as authors John Seery, Peter Lawler (who also blogs at No Left Turns), and our own Patrick Deneen; Jean Elshtain from Chicago, David Armitage from Harvard, and More.

What should citizens know? What's the link between a liberal arts education and a civic education? And how does America fit, these days, into the whole Western tradition? Dare to find out. I'll be there. Shouldn't you?

“Look out Ned and Joe”

By on 10.17.06 | 6:11PM

So said Alan Schlesinger (the other guy in the Connecticut Senate race) in yesterday's debate with Lamont and Lieberman. TPM Cafe has a highlight video of Schlesinger's greatest hits from the debate, in which he rails against Lamont and Lieberman for being liberal Democrats who would stand in the way of Social Security reform. It reinforces the old adage about politics making strange bedfellows that TPM speaks approvingly of his performance and that Kos giddily declares Schlesinger the winner of the debate. Of course, liberals realize that the only hope of Lamont winning is a late surge in support for Schlesinger. I'm not saying this doesn't cut both ways given that the RNC hasn't backed Schlesinger. It's just a testament to how bizarre the Connecticut race is.


How To Use Kids For Propaganda Purposes

By on 10.17.06 | 2:45PM

FamiliesUSA, a pro government-run health care outfit, is running an essay contest for kids called "When an Apple a Day Isn't Enough." Contestants age 9-13 are instructed, "Many children and young people get sick or hurt and need to go to the hospital or see the doctor. Write one paragraph about a time when you or a friend were helped by a doctor. Then, write a second paragraph about why it is important for all children to be able to see a doctor."

Kuo and Seducing Christians

By on 10.17.06 | 1:12PM

Just read the interview with David Kuo that Newsweek has up on its Website, and he sounds earnest enough in what he's saying. However, to me it seems absurd that the media, which has spent years attacking the Bush administration for being run by a bunch of evangelical nutters, are now making an issue of Bush being insufficiently loyal to that same constituency.